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Magogodi Makhene Visits Morningside!


During the week of October 8, Morningside College hosted the author Magogodi oaMphela Makhene as a distinguished visitor for our annual One Book Program. Makhene is the author of Innards: Stories (Norton, 2023), a collection of interconnected short stories that draw upon her own childhood in Soweto, South Africa. During a public talk titled ‘Get Gutsy Innards: Speaking in Tongues’, Makhene spoke about how learning English as a child affected the course of her life, and invited the audience to think about English’s dual role as a link language that provides but gatekeeps social and economic mobility, and serves as a reminder of colonial exploitation and racist inequality. On Friday October 13, she joined Year One students in the GEMC1001 classroom. There, she spoke about the final story in Innards, “The Virus”, and the ethical quandary she faced when writing the story from the perspective of an Afrikaner army veteran implicated in the preservation of Apartheid. Makhene also guided students in an exploration of empathy via a writing exercise and conversation. After class, students were hesitant to let her leave and formed a long queue for book signatures and questions. Stay tuned for the next episode of the College’s podcast, "Hong Kong’s Morningside” to hear Magogodi in conversation with Junior Fellow Alayna Lee.